At The Bridge, we are very excited to announce our speakers for the Fall Banquet. Coming from our very own hometown of Storm Lake, IA —- Matt Hanson and Ashley Farmer-Hanson! They’ll be sharing part of their stories and the role inspiring mentors played. Let’s meet our speakers:
Dr. Matt Hanson races as a professional triathlete and coaches triathletes, cyclists and runners. He has worked as an Athletic Trainer and was Human Performance Program Director at BVU. Matt’s path started out as a bucket list item he created at the age of 16, where he set the goal to complete an Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run). Matt qualified for the World Championships his first race and continued training with his new found hobby. In 2013 he earned his license to race as a professional triathlete. He continued to work as a professor and competed on the side. In 2015, he became the North American Champion and eventually decided that he had to literally chase a dream that had a small window. Along with competing, Matt has been coaching since 2013 and has helped triathletes reach their goals. While he still misses the classroom he is able to mentor other coaches along the way. Matt’s focus through his unplanned journey has been, “God has given me a strong set of lungs and a pair of legs that can take a beating. It is my responsibility to use them to glorify Him in any way possible. Philippians 4:13.” Matt currently holds the world record for the fastest Ironman in history and the fastest marathon in an Ironman in history.
Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson join Buena Vista University in 2008 as the Director of Civic Engagement. She has a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs Administration from Wisconsin – La Crosse and a Doctorate in Education Administration: Higher Education from the University of South Dakota. For the last eight years Ashley has served on the Iowa Commission for Volunteer service, a governor appointed position as well as the Iowa Campus Compact board of directors for the last two. Ashley has established the office of Civic Engagement to be nationally known and has published and presented nationally in the areas of community engagement, social justice and diversity. Storm Lake is home to Ashley and Matt. In their free time Matt and Ashley spend time competing in triathlons, gardening and spending time outside with their dogs.